Welcome to

The Parent & Teen Toolbox Podcast

FEATURED EPISODE

EP 00 – About The Parent Toolbox Podcast

This podcast is for those of us who are parenting teenagers.

Cai Graham’s straight-talking insights and tools & techniques are designed to equip parents (and teenagers) with the tools for navigating adolescence.

Recent Episodes

EP 61 – Machandria Peters – Being Differently Abled Does Not Define You

In this episode, Machandria shares her experiences and encourages all of us to say no to the negativity being directed towards us. She chooses to drown out those comments designed to hold her back, be they comments from within or without … and she encourages us to do the same.

That said, Machandria has not let that stand in her way and she strives to spread her message; which is to encourage differently-abled people to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams.

EP 60 – Triinu – It’s OK to Love Your Children Differently.

In this episode, Triinu explains how she has bonded with one child better than the other – and the impact this has had on all their relationships.

We discuss the ‘Mum Guilt’ – and how the first step to happier family life is forgiving yourself. Want to know more? Then grab a cuppa – and keep listening!

EP 59 – Victoria Seed – When Drug and Alcohol Misuse is Affecting the Family

Are you having to deal with drug or alcohol misuse – either for yourself or someone close to you?

In this episode, I chat with Victoria Seed who is a Family Recover Specialist. How I wish I had been able to chat with her when we were struggling as a family.

EP 58 – Angela Karanja – The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

In this episode, Angela and I discuss her 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. As parents in this game of life, we are pretty much able to work out those behaviors & actions that work well for us and those that do not! We have the benefit of life experience – and many of us have learned our lessons through trial and error – ‘the hard way.

EP 57 – Harris Hill – Parenting Nonbinary Childre‪n‬‬

In this episode, Harris explains what trans+ and nonbinary mean.

The most common issues trans+ people face are lack of acceptance and lack of understanding. By educating ourselves we have the power to make our interactions more considerate and empathic.

EP 56 – Dana Baker Williams – Helping You Child Cope with ADHD & Anxiet‪y‬

In this episode I talk with Dana about how she dealt with – not only the challenges that her daughter was facing – but also how she learned, as a parent, to offer the right support her daughter needed.

Dana discusses the importance of trusting your intuition as a parent – as you know your child best – and you can read through the tantrums (or the silences) and see beneath the behaviors.

EP 55 – Janis Isaman – Lone Parenting is F*cking Har‪d‬

In this episode, I talk with Janis Isaman about her lone parenting journey. How in the early days, she “selfishly” had to put her needs above her son’s – just so that she could keep her own head above water.

We talk about the difference between being a single parent and a lone parent. And whilst one is not better than the other … there are indeed differences.

EP 54 – Paul Wilson – Building Emotional Resilience by Beating Imposter Syndrom‪e‬

Paul explains how Imposter Syndrome can manifest in a number of different ways – and as a result, it keeps us within our comfort zone. Which indeed might feel safe and comfortable – but life is all about taking a few risks – and if we choose to play it safe – we are also choosing on missing out!

EP 53 – Nicola Lucie – Lifting the Lid on our Emotional ‘Triggers‪’‬

As parents, we tend to react to our child’s behavior. Sometimes an overreaction is nothing to do with the child in front of us – but more about what’s going on deep within us.

In this episode, Nicola and I discuss the importance of standing back and giving ourselves some space.

EP 52 – Jack Graham – Mental Health From the Insid‪e‬

In this episode, I talk with Jack – my son – about his own personal experiences – in the hope that we can shine a light on what it feels like to live with the constant presence of mental health problems hanging over you.

We aim to get under the bonnet of Mental Health … looking out from the inside.

EP 51 – Janey Lee Grace – Ditch The Booze and Upscale Your Lif‪e‬‬

In this episode, Janey and I discuss the joys (and yes, I do mean JOYS) of ditching the booze. This is not a preachy episode by any stretch of the imagination – but it shines a light on the life that you could enjoy without focusing on the next drink. Janey discusses how you can successfully pave the way to upscale your sober life.

EP 50 – EP 50 – Katy Hill – Living your LIMITLESS Life in this “Tough Season‪”‬‬

In this episode, we talk about how it’s important to break the mold and reinvent yourself (if you feel that things need to change.) So, if your energy levels are flagging and you feel that you’ve lost your mojo – have a listen – Katy will help you find that much-needed spring in your step again.

EP 49 – Heather Rutherford – Perfectionism : Healthy Standards -v- Unrealistic Expectation‪s‬

In this episode, we discuss how we might avoid the Pitfalls of Perfectionism.
TRUTH-BOMB : Perfection is Unachievable – and that’s OK.
Heather and I discuss how we can manage our expectations a little better.

EP 48 – Ruth Driscoll – Creating Better Interactions at Hom‪e‬

In this episode, we discuss how parents can work towards less conflict in the home – and aim for better more successful interactions. We talk about the importance of reaching a win-win situation with our teenagers – and what we can do to achieve this.

EP 47 – Kay Reeve – Developing Emotional Awareness Through the Hard Times

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you know that your child is struggling? But the thing is, often they don’t want to talk to you about it OR they cannot verbalize what’s going on in their head – because to be honest, they have no idea how to make sense of it themselves.

EP 46 – Avril Annett – How to Support Your Child With Their “Bad Behaviour”

In this episode, I talk with Avril about her experience of “the system”, and how this battle with her daughter’s school and the authorities, which lasted many years, ended in a judicial review in favor of her fight for seeking recognition of her daughter’s challenges.

EP 45 – 10 Tips for Dealing With a Disrespectful Teen

In this episode, I offer 10 ways for dealing with stroppy teenagers! Clashing heads with your teenager is a rite of passage – but is doesn’t have to be like this – day in, day out! I share my top 10 tips for making life with a teen under your roof a bit more bearable.

EP 44 – How to Cope with Homeschooling Your Teen

In this episode, I offer 22 ways to Beat the Homeschooling Blues! Many parents are here – homeschooling their child – under sufferance. This is not a choice that they would have made willingly. I share my top 22 Pointers in how to make this task a little bit easier.

EP 43 – So Long 2020 – The Parenting Lessons I have Learned

2020 has taught me many things – both as a parent and an individual. I am NOT running into 2021 with the “Up and At ‘em” approach. I am taking it slowly and seeing how this year is going to unravel. I share my top 15 lessons that I have learned from 2020.

EP 42 – How to Protect Your Child’s Mental Health in the Long Term

So, Christmas is done and dusted and the New Year is just around the corner – this headline doesn’t really make for cheery reading. But very few people are offering us solutions. So I want to change that for you. I am offering a number of tools and exercises that will help support YOU and your family.

EP 41 – 12 Toxic People to Look Out For

In this episode, I identify the 12 Toxic Characters and their behaviors that might cause you problems.
Better still I am offering suggestions on how to deal with these people and how to diffuse certain situations.

EP 40 – How to Talk about Alcohol, Without Nagging

In this episode, I discuss the importance of having open conversations with our kids – sooner rather than later. I also give you a handy exercise that will help your teenager take back control if they find themselves in a tricky situation with friends.

EP 39 – Dealing With the ‘Mean Girls’

This is a topic close to my heart.
Many teen girls I speak with are struggling with unkindness from their peers – from their friends. Funnily enough, they don’t call it bullying – and yet that’s exactly what it is.

EP 38 – Jacci Jones – Ages & Stages : Understanding Your Child’s Development

In this episode we are talking about the developmental stages that our children go through on their path towards adulthood; and why the teenage years can often be so turbulent. Jacci discusses – what she calls – “Middle of the Road Parenting” and why it’s necessary to not expect too much from ourselves or our children.

EP 37 – Clare Ford – Model the Behaviour You Want to See

In this episode, we are talking about how many parents are struggling with the changes we are seeing in our children’s education. Whilst there is still a “preferred path” proposed by our education system … more and more parents are finding that this model might not be best supporting their child’s temperaments, interests, and needs.

EP 36 – Andrea Davis – Intentional Tech Use – Using Technology Wisely

Andrea suggests creating a Family Tech Plan – based on the open discussions that you have already had with your children. We talk about how we can differentiate the use of constructive and destructive screen use (Education -v- mindless scrolling).

EP 35 – Tia Fagan – How to Avoid Parenting From Fear

Our children have so much to navigate at the minute, that it can be really daunting for parents to learn how to relinquish control. It’s our responsibility to guide our children through all the challenges and obstacles that they are facing. If you can relate to this, you’ll love this episode with Tia Fagan, who encourages us beautifully to parent from a place of curiosity rather than fear.

EP 34 – Elena Joy Thurston – Helping Straight Parents Better Understand LGBTQ

Throughout this episode, I came from a place of learning – and Elena kindly fielded my clunky questions with kindness and compassion. We dived right in, discussing the dangers of conversion therapy (there is a 57% suicide rate with this treatment); and how this comes from wanting the ‘best for our kids’ whilst parenting from fear.

EP 33 – How To Parent When You Are Struggling

2020 has been an incredible year – and for many ( it is late October at the time of recording ) it is beginning to take its toll.

We are heading into a winter of uncertainty and this is creating a huge amount of stress for many families. So how can parents parent from such a place of unreliability and confusion? In this solo episode I discuss what parents can do.

EP 32 – Doreen Steenland – Adopting the “Coach Approach” to Parenting

In this episode, we discuss the importance for us parents to be aware of what we are being exposed to and how, by monitoring these brain hacks, we can adopt a less reactionary approach to parenting.

In turn, this awareness helps us to calmly guide our children through the myriad of daily challenges that they face throughout the adolescent years.

EP 31 – JoBeth Evans – Helping Your Teenager to Find Joy in the Unknown

In this episode, we are discussing how our teenagers are adjusting – and how we can support them through this process. JoBeth suggests trying thoughts on for size.

It’s important to acknowledge that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future – and we need to be OK with that.

EP 30 – Sonja Montiel : Schooling -v- Learning – Rebuilding Our Expectations

In this episode we are talking about some of the difficulties our children are experiencing whilst transitioning back to school/university after a prolonged period away from education due to the Coronavirus.

We talk about how we can help our children to redefine what education means to them – and rebuilding expectations; because things are changing so rapidly at the minute.

EP 29 – Kim Muench : Parenting with Intention and Guidance

In this episode Kim and I explore the importance of hearing that inner voice and sometimes, relinquishing control. As parents, it’s scary to drop the reins – but by allowing our children to lead the way in their own lives, we set ourselves up for more connection and less confrontation.

“Our children come through us, not for us, but for the lessons they reflect to us, during their journey, in an effort to grow us up along the way.” 

EP 28 – Simon Benn : Mastering Imperfection, Perfectly

In this episode, I am speaking with Simon Benn: The Children’s Happiness Expert. Simon helps Parents to Inspire Their Children to be Confident, Resilient & Happy Through Fun!

“I empower parents to inspire their children to be confident, resilient & happy with a fun process that’s already helped 1,600 8 to 11-year-olds.”

EP 27 – Aparna Venkataraman – Sensory Self Care for Parents and Teens


In the episode, I talk with Aparna Venkataraman about how sensory self-care can really help us get in touch with our emotions – and she offers suggestions on how to deal with that.

 Aparna explains the effectiveness of breathwork and meditation in the simplest of terms – so that even the beginner will leave this episode with calming techniques that will help parents reconnect with themselves and their families.

EP 26 – Starting University/College and the Empty Nest

This is a solo episode by me.

If your child is off to University / College / Leaving Home … then I want you to stop for a minute. Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself. You are about to launch your child as a fully-fledged young adult into the big wide world.

THIS is what you have been leading up to.

EP 25 – 10 Tips for Coping with Back to School Anxieties

This is a solo episode by me.

I am having many parents contact me about coping with back to school anxieties. Our kids are returning to school following 5 months of social distancing and homeschooling. It is an uncertain time for many families; and many of our children are struggling.

I offer 10 Tips for Parents – to better deal with the Transition of Returning Back to School.

EP 24 – Claire Cetti – From Conflict to Connection in 5 Easy Steps

If you are a parent of a TEEN or TWEEN – then you will be no stranger to arguments in the home – I’m afraid to say that it’s a rite of passage!


But my guest on this episode, Parent Coach Claire Cetti, has developed a 5 step process that helps parents to move from Conflict & Anger to Calm & Connection within the family.

EP 23 – Becca Cornford : Promoting Wellbeing at Home & at School

In this episode, I talk with Becca Cornford about just that. Her family was hit by a ‘curve-ball’, not once but THREE times. Here she discusses how she and her family found the time to thrive and properly connect.

And through all this, she started a business; which helped both her and her family to find some levity in an already serious situation.

EP 22 – Piers Day – Building Better Relationships

We all know the importance of talking more with our kids – and how getting them to open up can not only help their mental health – but also start building stronger relationships within the family.

This episode is jam-packed with practical tools to help parents open up conversations with even the most reluctant teenager.

EP 21 – Natalie Syrmopolous – Adapting to the New Parenting Paradigm

Our childhood experiences stem from the old Parenting Paradigm – that one of “Children should be seen and not heard.” Much has shifted since then.

Natalie says “Kids’ temperaments are more robust now and this often makes parents quite uncomfortable.”

Listen to this episode where we discuss Natalie’s 5 Step Process to More Evolved Parenting “



EP 20 – Dear Struggling Teenager

In the previous episode, I wrote a letter to “A Struggling Parent” – so, it’s only fair I write a letter to “A Struggling Teenager.”

If you are parent listing to this – invite you to share this episode with your child. It might help them understand what’s going on in their heads.

EP 19 – Letter to a Struggling Parent

They do say :

“You are only as happy as your saddest child”. When your child is struggling, as their parent, it can occupy your every waking thought. 

How can you share these feelings with anyone else?

 Speaking your fears and worries out loud would be admitting that you.

Ep 18 – Surviving the School Holidays

In this episode, I give you ideas on how to support your child develop their kitchen skills; how to look after themselves, and the importance of managing their own finances for example.

Ep 17 – Is Your Child Under Achieving

In this episode, I discuss the difference between Under-Achieving and Not Performing. I explain why, more often than not – your child’s lack of interest in their studies and schoolwork is more a result of Fear rather than Laziness.

EP 16 – Why Your Teenager Needs Boundaries

In this episode, I discuss the importance of sticking to your guns and having healthy boundaries for your child to adhere to. Boundaries are often be greeted by teenagers with repeated objections – but our children do indeed thrive when there are clearly defined parameters to live by  (just like motorists adhering to the Highway Code) – without specific rules, family life would be chaotic.

EP 15 – The Importance of Sleep

In this episode, I talk about the importance of sleep. How teenagers have a different sleep cycle than parents and why it’s important for us to adjust to this.

EP 14 – How to Create a Brighter Future

In this episode, I talk about the importance of taking responsibility and planning your own future. It might feel as though the future looks dreary – but only if you let it!

EP 13 – How to Talk to your Child about Racism

There is so much unrest at the moment following the death of George Floyd – a black man who died from asphyxiation whilst in police custody because a white police officer knelt on his neck for 9 minutes.

EP 12 – How to Communicate with an Uncommunicative Teen

In this episode, I talk about how to communicate with a teenager who doesn’t really want to talk to you.
When teenagers are in the home – communication suddenly takes on a different form!

EP 11 – Your Teen Knows Best

In this episode I explain why it’s important to stop Managing your Teenager and start Mentoring them.
Teenagers’ brains are under construction – and with this comes chaos and overwhelm.

EP 10 – 5 Tips to Beat Negative Thinking

In this episode, I give you 5 techniques that will help you to start to think more positively. The media is spewing out so much negativity, which if unchecked can really affect our mental wellbeing.

EP 09 – 12 Tips to Combat Sibling Rivalry

In this episode, I am giving you some pointers on how to Combat Sibling Rivalry.
You’ll never be able to stop the quarrels and the arguments between the kids – and nor should you.

EP 08 – Managing Your Anxiety Levels

We find ourselves in strange times at the minute. Parenting is very different. Globally, many countries are in lockdown, in a bid to ‘Beat The Coronavirus’.

EP 07 – Finding a Work-Life Balance

In this episode, I am providing pointers for those parents who are needing to work from home.Globally, many countries are in lockdown, in a bid to ‘Beat The Coronavirus’.

EP 06 – The 10 Golden Rules of Parenting ( Part 2 )

There is always a positive intention. We will see the world differently.  The magic of small things.  There is no such thing as failure.  Our three basic needs within the family.

EP 05 – The 10 Golden Rules of Parenting ( Part 1 )

The old ways of thinking have to go. With change come opportunities. What do you focus on you attract?  Suspend your critical mind.  You cannot change another person.

EP 04 – Looking After You

If you aren’t prioritising yourself – how can you look after your nearest and dearest when the going gets tough? If you are running on empty, you will start feeling the struggle.

EP 03 – COVID 19 – Supporting an Elderly Relative

In this episode, I discuss some of the practicalities that might help you and your loved ones cope with the coronavirus disruptions. Parenting teenagers and younger children have their own challenges – and now, to some extent, you might feel you are having to parent the older generation as well.

EP 02 – COVID 19 – How to Talk to Your Child About the Coronavirus

I have decided to start this podcast with a COVID-19 Series where I support parents throughout this time. This episode helps you if you are struggling with your child and need to reassure them during this pandemic.

EP 01 – COVID-19 – Living under the Same Roof as your Teenager

This episode helps you if you are raising teenagers. Here, I offer you support and suggestions, helping you to cope with family life at home.
Living in such close proximity with our teenagers; and with the current restrictions offering little respite, it can indeed be a strain for all us!

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